I have been the subject of a couple of documentaries. Apparently, I’m a curiosity — a bit like a two-headed sheep. I’ve been on the news too, riding a motorbike in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, as it was known back then. It’s always been this way for me — I was an outcast from my first years at school, trying to tread the invisible line between girls and boys but just ending up playing in the woods by myself.
I would prefer just to be a regular guy.
It takes a lot of energy to hold your turf when you’re different. I want to be OK with the way I am and defend my differences if I need to, but how can a person born in the wrong body feel OK? Throughout life I’ve become more and more of an oddball, more and more withdrawn. I drank to alleviate the dissonance of the gap between who I was and who other people seemed to think I was. Or should be.
Now, I’m just me. Take it or leave it. But don’t prod it with a stick.
I often wonder how other men feel, particularly if they seem to view themselves as ‘different’. Many such men appear to be tortured by a lack of belonging, as I was. Men speak to me sometimes of the pain of their perceived difference and how it can isolate them. Some of them have been bullied, at school, at home or at work.
It’s odd, since we are all unique, that being different is such a big deal. For me, it was almost terminal. I had failed to join in.
I didn’t accommodate myself at all well to the expectations of others. I wonder if this is even possible for most of us who feel different? The drive to be our natural self is inexorable and possibly we don’t even know HOW to be normal. Who’s the arbiter of normal anyway?
When I meet people now, I’ve learned to look into their hearts, feel their energy. I only ever find love and a desire for harmony, acceptance and peace. The desire to be good men and women. Deeper, more rewarding and joyful connections emerge from this place.
I’ve found my peace. Now, having come rather late to this epiphany, I wonder how to support others to find theirs.
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